At the start of UNTOC Review Mechanism, UNODC reconfirms its commitment to strengthen partnerships with civil society, academia and the private sector to counter transnational organized crime

Vienna (Austria), 16 October 2020 – Countering transnational organized crime requires a comprehensive, all-society approach, including meaningful engagement of non-governmental stakeholders. UNODC is involving civil society, academia and the private sector in this effort by building their capacities to support Member States in the implementation of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and its Protocols.

In the margins of the tenth session of the Conference of the Parties to UNTOC (COP10) which took place on 12-16 October 2020, the UNODC Civil Society Unit and Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Section organized two side events to present the progress made in engaging these stakeholders. These online meetings presented an opportunity to unveil some of the tools that have been developed to this end. The events were attended by over 150 delegates of the COP10 and other participants with a vested interest in these topics.

In his opening remarks at the first event on Fostering Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) to Counter Trafficking in Persons, Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs of UNODC, stressed that “significant challenges remain to achieve safety and security of the most vulnerable of our societies, necessitating an all-society approach that involves all relevant stakeholders, including the private sector.” Frank Haberstroh, Compliance Officer at ODDO Berliner Handels- und Frankfurter Bank, presented PPP tools the bank uses to counter trafficking in persons, including education programmes, monitoring and evaluation, research and  analysis.

The overall PPP project is funded by Germany.

The first PPP Regional Expert Group Meeting for South Eastern Europe, funded by France, will take place on 24-26 November 2020.

The second event on Stakeholder Engagement for the UNTOC presented the work of UNODC in collaboration with the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) on building capacities of non-governmental stakeholders for the implementation of UNTOC and its Review Mechanism.

Addressing the participants, Louis Lawrence Bono, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Permanent Mission of the United States in Vienna, noted that “the success of any policy initiative hinges on the successful interaction of public, private, and civil society organizations.”

Sarah Simons, World Society of Victimology Committee Member, shared her experience of participating in the SEU training last month and using the knowledge she gained to building a youth network around Africa.

The SE4U project is made possible by the financial support of the United States, Sweden and Norway.

Moving forward, UNODC will continue creating spaces for engagement with civil society, academia and the private sector, increasing their knowledge on the Convention and its Review Mechanism and developing tools for collaboration and experience sharing.

Additional information

Toolkit on Stakeholder Engagement: Implementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Guide for civil society community engaging with the UNTOC Review Mechanism.

United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its supplementing Protocols.

Review Mechanism for the Implementation of UNTOC.